I want to create and edit shapefiles for my application.
Is there a free shapefile editor?
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There are lots of free GIS tools available. One of the imho best is QuantumGIS: http://www.qgis.org. It is available for win/mac and linux.
But maybe you prefer openjump a tool written in java, which has special strengths in editing, topology-checking: http://www.openjump.org/
Also take a look at: http://freegis.org/
Also, if you do not mind some scripting in Python, there is Shapefile module for this.
Small example, create .shp with point features from coords in .xls:
import xlrd import shapefile Path = "c:/" f = "Excel_w_coords.xls" # Open Excel workbook wb = xlrd.open_workbook(Path + f) # List all sheets in Excel list = wb.sheet_names() for i in list: sh = wb.sheet_by_name(i) # Make a point shapefile w = shapefile.Writer(shapefile.POINT) w.field("ID") for rownum in range(sh.nrows): RowList = sh.row_values(rownum) ID = RowList x = RowList y = RowList z = RowList w.point(x,y,z) w.record(ID) w.save('C:/' + i) # clean up del f, Path, wb, list